Truthmaking, entailment, and the conjunction thesis

Mind 115 (460):957-982 (2006)
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In this paper I undermine the Entailment Principle according to which if an entity is a truthmaker for a certain proposition and this proposition entails another, then the entity in question is a truthmaker for the latter proposition. I argue that the two most promising versions of the principle entail the popular but false Conjunction Thesis, namely that a truthmaker for a conjunction is a truthmaker for its conjuncts. One promising version of the principle understands entailment as strict implication but restricts the field of application of the principle to purely contingent truths (i.e. those that contain no necessary proposition at any level of analysis). But a conjunction of purely contingent truths strictly implies its conjuncts. So this version of the principle is committed to the Conjunction Thesis. The same is true of the version of the principle where entailment is understood in the sense of systems T, R, and E of relevant logic, since in these systems conjunctions entail their conjuncts. I argue that the Conjunction Thesis is false because a truthmaker is that in virtue of what a certain proposition is true and it is false that, for example, what the proposition that Peter is a man is true in virtue of is the conjunctive fact that Peter is man and Saturn is a planet (or the facts that Peter is a man and that Saturn is a planet taken together). I also argue against other versions of the principle.



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Citations of this work

Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Boris Christian Kment - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.
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References found in this work

A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Truth and truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.
Truth-Makers.Kevin Mulligan, Peter Simons & Barry Smith - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 44 (3):287-321.

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